February 27, 2019 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Fat rat stuck in manhole rescued by firefighters in Germany.

Photos and video from the local animal rescue group Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar.
posted by peeedro (32 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

“Even animals that are hated by many people deserve respect,” he said.

I rely on this sentiment in my professional life. Also my personal life, sadly.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:11 AM on February 27, 2019 [23 favorites]

After watching the rat video, I got watching some other videos on Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar's Youtube channel:

Dachs in Pool gefallen (in which a badger is rescued from an empty swimming pool), Nutris im Hinterhof (contains a brief nutria foot chase), and Katze klemmt in Astgabel fest (which Google translate tells me means "Cat stalls in branch fork"). That last one contains some hissing (feline) and swearing (human, in German) as the cat is Most Certainly Not Having It, but the rescue is ultimate a success.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:17 AM on February 27, 2019 [10 favorites]

I'm impressed it involved nearly 7 people.
posted by Damienmce at 8:22 AM on February 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

There's a Brexit joke in here somewhere...
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:37 AM on February 27, 2019 [7 favorites]

*MetaOops MetaTalk thread for where you can share your own stories of being caught or embarrassed.*
posted by Fizz at 8:45 AM on February 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

OMG that face!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:50 AM on February 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

MetaFilter: I'm impressed it involved nearly 7 people.


MetaFilter: contains a brief nutria foot chase
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:56 AM on February 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

*AHEM* little story concerning the American equivalent:

I set out around six am one morning in the Central Square of Cambridge MA, a notoriously dodgy/quirky bit of no-man's-land between MIT and Harvard. I was looking for work. As I was passing the entrance to a gym, a pigeon fell dead-weight, first on the bus enclosure above me (boom!) and then smack dab in front of my feet. It was alive, thrashing. It tried to fly but seemed to have broken its spine. This startled the hell out of me and the two young Asian women who had just exited the gym.

Over the course of four seconds, we exchanged confused and terrified looks while the pigeon made some failed attempts, lifting as high as five feet or so before crashing again. It began to wander out into traffic. Seemed like a bad situation for both bird and drivers. One of the women leapt out and grabbed it bare-handed, pulling it back to the side walk. Brave soul. I quickly convinced her to put it down (they are rats with wings, after all) and the two women herded the bird into a payphone cubby while I ran into a Walgreen's to get a plastic bag. I returned and scooped the bird up.

I sent the ladies off, assuming they probably had a busier morning planned than I. The one who'd grabbed the pigeon seemed very insistent on me finding a good, safe place to take the bird. I remember wondering if her compassion sprung from Buddhism. I still don't know if that was racist, but it became important later.

So now I was walking down Mass Ave with a pigeon in a plastic bag, nodding gravely at the morning commute. I had never found the area so devoid of cops as I did that day. Every now and then, the pigeon would freak out a little and I'd set him down for a bit to thrash and, I guess, to realize that he wasn't going anywhere.

I made my way to fire house, where I stuck my head in the open garage. The truck was gone and a lone man sat to side in overalls, eating breakfast. There must have been a call. "I uh...found this. This pigeon is all busted up. He was jumping into traffic." I know the fireman must have said something, but all I remember is a shrug.

So I set out again, eventually making my way around to a side street, mostly because I was tired of the looks people were giving me on the main. I was unemployed, but not crazy damnit! Then I saw a parked public works truck ahead of me. Great! I ran up to driver's side and found a man smoking and reading the metro. I told him about the bird. "There's a number you can call. I should have it hear somewhere, but..." That's all I remember him saying. Also the shrug.

I walked away, bird in hand, realizing that I'd soon have to make a choice. That woman's eyes had pleaded that I do right by this bird, but it was becoming clear I'd have to do...something. By now, I'd picked up a discarded charcoal bag (you know, the double-thick paper variety) to reinforce the plastic bag. The bird had gone relatively still. I thought about placing the bird in the trash can at the park. But wouldn't that just prolong his misery? And what if he got up his strength and came flying out at someone's face? I had to do this right! Thoughts of Buddhism now made me wonder: if I fuck this up, am I going to be reincarnated as a spastic pigeon?

I'll spare y'all the details of how I affected blunt force trauma to the unfortunate fellow, suffice to say that I didn't find the public options all that helpful that day.

posted by es_de_bah at 9:18 AM on February 27, 2019 [13 favorites]

It's February. Who isn't feeling like this when they try to put on their jeans?
posted by srboisvert at 10:42 AM on February 27, 2019 [7 favorites]

It's February. Who isn't feeling like this when they try to put on their jeans?

It's February and Green Book won an Oscar, shit is hard. Eat your comfort foods and do what you need to do to survive.
posted by Fizz at 11:04 AM on February 27, 2019 [7 favorites]

es_de_bah, I have a similar story about a bird that broke its back flying into a window at my work. I scooped it into a box and resolved to put together some sort of gas chamber to euthanize it (I worked in a lab) but was too upset to think straight and figure out how to put something together. It also wasn't clear we had all the materials. Anyway I was in there panicking and thankfully one of my labmates was a hunter and knew how to deal with the situation. He snapped its neck and it was done with. It seemed brutal at the time but in retrospect it was the kindest thing for the bird--otherwise it would've been trapped in that box, freaking out for who knows how long while I tried and almost would've certainly failed to give it a peaceful end.
posted by Anonymous at 11:10 AM on February 27, 2019

OK, that was a supreme bummer of a story from me on what is a happy and cute post, so have a delightful before/after of a kitty I helped rescue.
posted by Anonymous at 11:18 AM on February 27, 2019

A decade ago, I was in Banff, Alberta for work and had to get to Lake Louise for the following day. I walked over to the bus terminal and bought a ticket for later that afternoon.

As I left the terminal, I saw a woman in the parking lot, crouched on her haunches, closely examining something on the ground. I approached and saw that she was looking at a mouse, which was in pretty sorry shape: it seemingly had lost the use of its front legs and was pushing itself along the ground slowly with its back legs.

She wondered aloud to me what had happened to it; I recalled that there was a snack bar inside the terminal and speculated to her that perhaps the proprietors put down poison to deter the mice.

Just then her companions emerged from the terminal and joined us: one guy suggested just stepping on the mouse or driving over it, to which the woman who had begun all this reacted with horror. I assured her I would deal with the situation and she and her group left.

I was uncertain as to how to proceed — it’s not like I know mouse CPR or anything — so I looked around and noticed that at the edge of the parking lot was a green space with a dozen or twenty trees and a few picnic tables. I scooped up the suffering mouse wth a folded map and transported it to the ground beneath a lovely fir tree. I then cast my mind back to a couple decades earlier when I had worked in a movie theatre that we had occasional mouse issues and every day had to check that the candy at the snack bar was all intact and that nothing had been nibbled in the night. I recalled that Aero bars seemed to be particularly prone to nibblage, and we tossed one or two a week (Note for Americans: an Aero is made of chocolate only, with an interior made of bubbles like a chocolate representation of osteoporosis). I went back inside and purchased an Aero, broke off a corner, and placed it next to the poor mouse. I thought, “There is little more I can do, but if it has to die, then dying reclining in the shade of a lovely tree with a bite of chocolate is a better end than most of us will get.” I then left him to his business, and departed, munching on the rest of the Aero.

Perhaps three hours later I returned with my bag to make my departure. I went to check on my small friend, and saw that (unsurprisingly) he had expired. He had indeed had a bit of chocolate to ease his passing. An ant was crawling across his belly as I approached, an I decided not to leave him to the elements, or as a poisoned snack for a cat or hawk. I saw a baseball-sized rock half-buried in the ground, so I pulled it out and brushed the mouse into the impromptu grave, then covered it over with a palm-sized flat stone.

After a moment’s thought, I decided that one last act was called for, so I picked up the stone covering his resting place and wrote on it with a Sharpie:
AUG 18 08
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:42 AM on February 27, 2019 [35 favorites]

Metafilter post: Here's a heartwarming story about rescuing an animal that ends well
Metafilter comments: Here are my stories about finding hurt animals that then die
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:44 AM on February 27, 2019 [52 favorites]

Well, sometimes dying is the only outcome, so making sure it happens peacefully and as painlessly as possible is the story ending well.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:46 AM on February 27, 2019 [7 favorites]

I'm pretty sure this is pizza rat
posted by supermedusa at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2019 [6 favorites]

Hah, my wife went to school in Bensheim. Showed her the video and her comment was they should have just hit it with a shovel. In her defence, she is a farmer's daughter...
posted by smcniven at 12:35 PM on February 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

There are times I'm glad I grew up rural and have the knowledge of ending an animal's suffering quickly. But such anecdotes are terrible conversation-starters, so I'll save them for another venue. I'm just glad there are parts of the world that value all life, even that of a sewer rat.
posted by endotoxin at 1:01 PM on February 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

I just can't get over the fact that this is literally exactly what happens to Winnie the Pooh in one of the most pivotal and influential pieces of media from my childhood. To think I should live to see the day.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 1:18 PM on February 27, 2019 [7 favorites]

He‘s never gonna live that one down at NIMH.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:36 PM on February 27, 2019 [17 favorites]

Here's a silly song about saving a suicidal pigeon . It's bird joke ratio is above average. I'm not sure anyone has written a song yet about saving a chubby rat.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:43 PM on February 27, 2019

Anybody else remember “curvy“ squirrel Olivio?
posted by Omnomnom at 2:30 PM on February 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

That Olivio the squirrel story has a link to this: Norway man rescued after climbing into public toilet. The photo that goes with the article is priceless.
posted by peeedro at 2:36 PM on February 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

I just hope someone gets him a slice of pizza he can drag down the stairs of the U-bahn.
posted by holborne at 2:39 PM on February 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was fortunate enough to experience the story via the BBC News channel yesterday as trailed ("if you want to hear more about the Fat Rat then let us know on Twitter") and told by a sighing Simon McCoy, he of That's Not An iPad fame. Added a certain je ne sais quoi.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 3:41 PM on February 27, 2019

> Metafilter post: Here's a heartwarming story about rescuing an animal that ends well

Metafilter comments: Here are my stories about finding hurt animals that then die

Indeed. Of course there are occasions when a swift method of dispatch is the most compassionate course of action when dealing with injured or otherwise suffering wildlife. This event wasn’t one of them, and I’m not entirely certain why people seem so eager to recount their experiences with wildlife euthanasia on this specific post about a successful rescue.

Props to everyone involved in the rescue for not dismissing a terrified and distressed animal as “just vermin”, but liberating the rat as swiftly and gently as possible.
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 4:02 PM on February 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

I found a flicker that had been hit by a car and was still breathing but not moving, so I scooped it up and put it in a paper grocery bag and hastened to the vet.* The bag was very still.

Then suddenly the bag was VERY ACTIVE AND ABOUT TO OPEN IN MY CAR so I pulled over and one dazed but furious flicker exploded out to perch in a tree.

*I have an awesome vet who does wildlife work pro bono. He saved a grebe and a cedar waxwing I've brought him.
posted by The otter lady at 6:30 PM on February 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wait. They just released it then? Are rats not disease carrying vectors in Germany or?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:34 PM on February 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Don't quote me but I believe Germany has a whole system of nattily-dressed pipe-players to deal with that side of the problem.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:55 PM on February 27, 2019 [10 favorites]

After all that work to get the rat through, they just put it back under the sewer hole cover? It clearly wanted to get out. Aren't they just going to have to come back in an hour to help it when it gets stuck again?
posted by Margalo Epps at 11:43 AM on February 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid, I found a cat on the side of the road that had been hit and was horribly hurt but conscious and howling in agony. I tearfully went to the farmhouse across the street to see if they could do anything. All in about a minute, one of the farm boys walked out with a shovel, swung it high over his head, bashed the cat's brains in with the back of the shovel, and walked back into the house.

I think he was the same brother who some years later got a job at a coal-fired power plant and fell into the coal breaker.

Life is brutal.
posted by pracowity at 10:51 AM on March 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

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